Colton Dougherty ruled the pen on Saturday night at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.
The 18-year-old Springfield cowboy batted 1.000, making successful rides on all four of his bulls during the Coastal Farm & Ranch Challenge of Champions Tour event and departed with a nice payday.
Dougherty — who won last year’s Challenge of Champions season title — entered the week ranked sixth in the Columbia River Circuit standings, second in the Northwest Pro Rodeo Association and third in the Challenge of Champions.
He rode Saturday’s bounty bull, worth $1,000, and earned around $3,500 in Roseburg, according to tour founder Jason Mattox.
“This is the first time,” Dougherty replied with a grin, when asked if he’d ever made four eight-second bull rides on the same day. “It was awesome. I’m glad to be headed home with a pocketful of change.
“It’s very mentally tough. You’ve just go to keep telling yourself every time you get on them you’re not tired, you’re not winded, you’re ready to go fight and win. The bulls tonight were rank, awesome. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Mattox, a former pro bull rider, was impressed.
“That young man, he’s hungry and heating up at the right time,” Mattox said. “To have the endurance is just amazing. These bulls buck harder and faster than they used to. To get on four bulls is an accomplishment and shows you how tough this kid is.”
Dougherty opened with an 82.5-point ride aboard Crozier Bucking Bulls’ White Soldier. He scored 85.5 points on Crozier’s Texas Pride and was one of two riders to advance to the short round.
Jacob Curry of Redmond, the only other competitor to make an eight-second ride, scored 79 on Gorham Bucking Bulls’ Super Fly.
In the finals, Curry was bucked off his bull and Dougherty delivered an 85.5-point ride. That left Dougherty with the opportunity to earn a $1,000 bonus if he could stay on 2 Bucks Rodeo Company’s Double Dose.
Dougherty completed a perfect performance with his highest-scored ride of the evening, 87.5 points.
“That (last ride) was the best one,” he said. “I kept hustling, moving, scratching and digging. That bull was really bucking. I’m proud of that one.
“I wasn’t very familiar with that bull. My buddy Justin Houston (of Coquille), who’s my traveling partner, made a bull ride on him in Albany last year and scored 90 points to win it, so I was really amped to have him here.”
Dougherty, who attended Canby High School, began riding when he was 6.
“My dad put me on a roping steer and I’ve never stopped since,” said Dougherty. “I love (bull riding) for the adrenaline and getting to hang out with my buddies and traveling all around the world.”
Roseburg was the 11th stop of the Challenge of Champions Tour this year. The tour will return to the fairgrounds on Saturday, Sept. 8.
“It seems like these guys aren’t the caliber of the bulls, but these bulls buck hard and they’re bulls the guys want to get on,” said Mattox, reflecting on Saturday’s overall performance. “There’s either going to be a lot of points or they’re going to get bucked off. That’s what happened tonight.
“A bunch of the guys had a shot at it with six, seven-second rides but came up a little short. That’s bull riding — you never know how it’s going to turn out. But the guys who rode put on one heck of a show.”